This particular write on the subject (Coronavirus) isn’t going to be about washing your hands, not touching your face, cancelling social events, etc. That has been covered so thoroughly that I’m sure all of us are abjectly terrified because it’s virtually impossible to know how to avoid getting exposed (or exposing others), what with all the conflicting reports, suggestions, and voo doo that’s being recommended.
No, I’m going to talk about what to EAT. In other words, how to boost and support your immune system, so that IF (when) you get exposed, your immune system will be charged up and ready to rumble! All this stuff below are things we’re doing in our own household as a matter of regular practice, and even if you start today, you’ll see benefits very quickly.
First, a nice video about what happens once you’ve already been exposed, and what things will impact how your bout will shape up.
So! If you watched the video, you’ll already know that nutrition is the number one area where you can take action to protect yourself from suffering more than absolutely necessary. If you didn’t watch the video, go watch it, for crying in the coffee! What, you’re gonna watch all kinds of vids about not touching your face and buying toilet paper, but you’re not going to watch a vid about something that you can actually do to HELP yourself? It’s only 14 minutes long. I’ll wait.
Okay, straight to brass tacks. For the last couple of days, instead of taking hand breaks from doing whippage, I got some work done in the kitchen. First, I went shopping and got some foodities, and also reloaded on the vitamin supplements my family takes. Then I came home and did some simple prep in the kitchen. First, since my son is a picky eater, I made a huge batch of Broccoli Cheddar Soup, because he LOVES the stuff and eats it like it’s better than ice cream.
It has other secret ingredients in it, too, that are secret because my kid doesn’t like them, but they’re good for him, so my conscience is clear as a bell. It’s dead easy and very fast to make, and if you put it in small containers in the fridge, then serving it is a snap, too, because you just grab the container, heat it in the micro (or stove top if you prefer), and then pour the hot soup over a bowl of fine grated cheddar cheese. The hot soup melts the cheese, and VOILA! Gourmet chow for cranky sick people and picky eaters!
I’ll put the recipe down below.
Next, I made a huge batch of
If you have someone who’s sick with the flu, or if you yourself are sick, this is the best thing ever, because it’s super nutrient-dense, and since it’s a broth, it’s really easy to digest. And it’s QUITE tasty besides! In fact, you don’t need to wait till you’re sick to have some, and you can use it in your regular cooking, for soups, stew bases, etc. You can even add some to your Broccoli Cheddar Soup to give it an extra special boost in nutrition.
Granted it might give you the heebie jeebies while you’re cooking it….
Yes, the recipe calls for chicken tootsies. Feet. Don’t feel bad, because millions of years ago, those damned chickens were actually Velociraptors, and they were MEAN SUMB*TCHES, so they’re still working off a crap ton of karma–you’re only doing them a big favor. Chicken feet may seem like more voo doo, but they are full of broad-spectrum nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and trace minerals. This gelatinous-rich concoction is gut healing, soothes digestive trouble, and can support healthier skin and nails–and it’s GREAT if you’re sick with something like coronavirus!
For my OWN self, since I’ve been on a ketogenic/intermittent fasting lifestyle since the end of last June (and I’ve lost 60 lbs so far, friends & neighbors!!), I also made a batch of the veggie part of THIS recipe for a “St Patty Melt.” I modified it for keto by just not using bread. Instead, I made it into an omelette, with grated swiss–super yum! It has kale (a well known super-food) and mustard greens (a TASTY green, unlike kale, which when combined with kale in the manner below actually makes kale delightfully edible). I’m not going to include the recipe for this, because the video just below has everything you need to know about what to get and how to do it:
My whole family has been eating a lot more carefully since the beginning of last summer, SPECIFICALLY AND ESPECIALLY in that we don’t eat CARBS! No junk or processed foods. Not a one of us has had so much as a sniffle for the entire winter, which is unprecedented. Usually we’ve each had at least a cold, if not the flu by now. So I’m cautiously pleased, and I am pretty confident that the eating changes I made are the reason we’re doing so much better this year.
There is an enormous number of videos, articles and blurbs out on the net regarding the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. Dr. Berg, whose video I linked to above, is a good place to start if you’re interested in learning more. For now, I’ll just pop the recipes for the Broccoli Soup and the Bone Broth down below, if you’d like to try them out.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
(Disclosure: I got this recipe from Chef John, too, and modified it to suit my family.)
Ingredients for 6 portions:
2 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus probably more to taste
3 cloves minced garlic
2 pounds broccoli, trimmed
5 to 6 cups broth, or as needed to adjust texture
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
Shredded sharp cheddar, gruyere, or combination of the two, or whatever you like, really.
Sauté onion in butter and salt till soft and translucent. Add minced (or crushed) garlic, sauté another minute. Dump in the broth, and turn heat to high and bring up to a simmer. While broth is heating, prep broccoli–basically cut the florets off, then dice up the stems so that everything cooks evenly. Once the stock has come to a simmer, transfer broccoli into the pot. Cover, bring back to a boil, and cook for a couple of minutes, till broccoli starts to soften. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the broccoli is tender (just poke it with a fork) about 10 minutes or so. Turn off the heat, and ladle soup into the Ninja (blender or food processor) in batches and blend until smooth. Return to the pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Return heat to medium low and whisk in ingredients till smooth and heated through. Grate cheddar cheese and add to the bottom of some soup bowls. Taste the soup for seasoning (i.e., salt). When you’ve got it where you want it, ladle the soup over the cheese, and serve!
Bone Broth a la Desert Minx
2-3lb bag of beef neck bones
1-2 ham hocks
8 chicken thigh bones (I saved the bones from some roasted chicken I made–just pop them into a zip lock baggie & put in the freezer till you’re ready to make broth; otherwise, just skip this bit)
1 package (10 to 12) chicken feet (you can get this in the meat department at most grocery stores; I found them at Winco with no trouble)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, quartered
Several celery stocks
1-2 tablespoons salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1-2 tablespoons dried thyme
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (or to taste; we like LOTS of garlic, and it’s a great natural antibiotic)
If your beef & pork bones are raw, then roast them in a pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so to bring out the flavor.
Put all the bones & feet in a large stock pot, and add enough water to cover generously (like .5 to 1 inch over the top of the bones). Add the apple cider vinegar and give it a stir, then let that sit for 30 minutes so the vinegar can start working on drawing out the goodies from the bones et al.
Add the veggies, salt and peppercorns to the pot, and crank the burner up to high. Bring to a boil (it’ll take a while, be patient). Reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 hours (I start this first thing in the morning and just keep an eye on it throughout the day). If you want you can skim off any foam that develops, but I usually don’t bother. About an hour before it’s done, add the herbs & garlic, and continue cooking for the last hour.
Remove from heat, let cool a little (not completely, because it’ll gel), and then strain the broth. Store in the fridge up to five days, or you can freeze it if you like.
A votre santé!